ASHLAND -- Ashland, I’ll be honest with you: When I accepted a position with nearby Richland Source in April 2017, I was skeptical.
I remember feeling anxious as I packed to move three hours away from my Erie, Pennsylvania home to Mansfield, Ohio. More than once, family members questioned me about my decision. And more than once, I paused myself to think, “What in the world am I doing?”
It was hard to grasp my immediate future, let alone to foresee two and a half years later. At that time, I never could have imagined being where I am right now, transitioning to report for our newest website at Ashland Source.
Here, I’ll be building off the steady foundation former reporter Courtney McNaull already set in place. I'll be covering Ashland County with the help of reporter Waylon O’Donnell and our intern, Zach Read.
In April 2017, I was leaving everything and everyone I knew for a job at a newly launched, anything-but-traditional, online news organization -- one that was not located in a notoriously innovative metropolitan city, but in a county with a mere 120,589 in population.
I was a budding journalist, how could I not be curious? Nervous? A little skeptical?
I wondered what made Richland Source work? How could news be delivered long-term on a free, online platform?
I soon found the answers to both those questions: Our readers.
The community in Richland County has welcomed the online news organization and our solutions approach to local journalism with open arms. They’ve supported the newsroom by purchasing memberships and engaged with our staff to share story ideas.
I’ve seen the same in Ashland, especially over the past year. We’ve had at least some presence for my entire time at Richland Source. But last fall Ashland Source launched its own website, and earlier this year, our membership program in Ashland began.
I’m not skeptical about Ashland Source. This isn’t where I thought I’d be back in April 2017, but I can’t imagine being anywhere else now.
I’m excited for this opportunity to cover Ashland County, to tell its stories, meet its residents, listen to our readers, highlight the solutions to local problems and so much more.
If you’d like, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Send me an email with a story idea, or just say hello.
I'll also be announcing office hours at some downtown businesses in the near future. So stay tuned and keep in the loop by signing up for emails below.